This presentation critically examines the use of folk biology to naturalize the power and authority of white men in Mormon scripture. It identifies challenges facing Latter-day Saint communities in light of recent advances from the biological sciences. Is the Book of Mormon’s assumption that skin color reflects sinfulness consistent with biogenetic understandings of human physical variation? Are Biblical and Book of Mormon images of a patriarchal seed transmitted from fathers to sons consistent with modern understandings of biogenetic procreation? Is an Israelite heritage of Nephites and Lamanites reflected in the DNA of American Indians?
Thomas W. Murphy, Glenn Cornett